About 25% of the United States population lives in areas that use onsite wastewater treatment facilities (onsites), commonly known as septic systems. Surface water and groundwater contamination associated with onsites often stems from failures due to age or improper maintenance; however, even properly functioning facilities can cause environmental degradation and pose public health risks.
Depending upon soil type, water saturation, and other factors, nutrients and microbial pollutants can migrate long distances down-gradient from properly functioning (but poorly designed) systems and ultimately reach surface water and groundwater. The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality has identified onsite wastewater treatment facilities as a contributing factor to water quality impairment in Arizona.
There is a need to educate onsite owners and pumpers who maintain the facilities, as well as designers, installers, contractors, regulators, and health officials on the proper siting, design, installation, operation, and maintenance of onsite wastewater treatment facilities.
PDEQ reviews and approves plans for ALTERNATIVE onsite wastewater treatment facilities and the Pima County Development Services Department (DSD) reviews and approves plans for CONVENTIONAL onsite wastewater treatment facilities in order to ensure that they are designed and constructed in accordance with the Arizona State Aquifer Protection Permit (APP) Rules and the Pima County Code.
Facility approval results in a "Construction Authorization issued by PDEQ (Alternative Facilities) or DSD (Conventional Facilities).
Transfer of Property Septic Inspection
System Closure or Abandonment
Liquid Waste Haulers
Gray Water Use